Moses said, I did it then, while I was of those astray

Question 41: In the answer to a previous question, you said that Moses did not apologize for his killing of the Coptic because he was a work of Satan. Rather, you said that he intended to kill the Coptic and it was a righteous act; so if it was right for Moses to kill the Coptic, then what is the meaning of his saying in Surat ash-Shuaraa, (([Moses] said, “I did it then, while I was of those astray.))?


Answer: By the ‘straying’, Moses did not mean here the deviation from the Straight Path because of the act of killing the Coptic, rather the straying which Moses pbuh meant was of two dimensions:

The first one is that Moses sees himself to be astray because of his presence in the palace of the oppressive tyrant, Pharaoh. That is why he said in Surat al-Qasas that which means, “My Lord, by what You have bestowed upon me, I will not be a supporter to an oppressor even if by increasing the number [of people surrounding the tyrant] by staying in his palace, and supporting him by keeping silent about his injustice,” although the initial presence of Moses in the palace of Pharaoh (may Allah curse him) was not in the hands of Moses.

However, it was in the hands of Moses to continue staying in the Palace of Pharaoh, and eventually, he had to make this decision of leaving the palace of the tyrant and disowning him (may Allah curse him).


The Second Dimension is that Moses wanted to say to Pharaoh “I killed the unjust Coptic, and he is from Pharaoh’s police (may Allah curse him), and I am right and killing him was right but you saw that I was from those astray,’ which means that Moses wanted to say ‘I am from those astray according to you O Pharaoh, not that I am truly astray, rather I am from those guided, that is why I escaped you and your oppression, so Allah swt rewarded me, ((So I fled from you when I feared you. Then my Lord granted me sovereignty and made me from the messengers.)).

Ahmed Alhasan
The Allegories – volume 2


[1] Referring to question 2, from The Allegories – Volume 1

[2] The Holy Qur’an [26:20]

[3] The Holy Qur’an [26:21]

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